Unpaid Wages: Your Rights Under Employment Law

employer paying employee their check

California employees have the right to be paid in full and on time for the work they’ve completed. Unfortunately, employees don’t always receive the payment they deserve, or they don’t receive it when expected. Thankfully, there are employment laws that protect workers when employers violate wages laws. The Monterey County unpaid wage attorneys at Polaris Law Group explain your rights under employment law regarding unpaid wages.

What Are Unpaid Wages?

Wages are payments employees receive for any labor they performed. California legislature declared that all workers have the right to be paid wages, regardless of their immigration status. Types of wages include:

  • Commissions
  • Fixed salary
  • Sick pay
  • Hourly pay
  • Travel expenses
  • Vacation pay
  • Piece-rate payments
  • Other forms of payment

When Must Employers Pay Wages?

California employment law requires employers to follow strict terms on when wages need to be paid. California requires employees to be paid at least twice a month. Employers must also establish regular paydays and inform workers before wage payments begin. Employers need to notify employees of the time and place they need to pick up their checks if they don’t receive automatic deposits to their bank account.

If employees are paid twice a month, wages must be earned between the 1st and the 15th day of the month, and they must be paid between the 16th and the 26th. Wages earned between the 16th and the last day of the month should be paid between the 1st and the 10th.

If employees aren’t paid bi-monthly, then they should receive their wages no longer than 7 days after the end of each work period.

Contract & Labor Rights

When an employer offers a job at a promised wage and the employee accepts, they enter a binding agreement. The employer then needs to create a formal written contract, but an oral agreement is still enough to enforce unpaid wages.

Not only does a contract protect employees, but so does California’s Labor Code. The Labor Code provides employees with the right to earn certain wages, including minimum wage or overtime wages.

Overtime Wages

Overtime wages earned during a work period must be paid no later than the regular payday for the next work period.

Exempt Employee Wages

Certain employees are exempt from California labor laws, including exempt employees. Exempt employees typically work in administrative or executive positions. Exempt employees are paid on a different schedule than other employees. They only need to be paid once a month, but they must receive wages before the 26th of the month.

Terminations: Final Wage Payments

When an employee is discharged, they have specific wage payment deadlines. If an employee is fired, they must receive all unpaid wages, including vacation time, the date of termination. However, if an employee quits and gives at least a 72-hour notice, the employee must be paid on their last day. If an employee quits without giving notice, they must be paid their final wages within 72 hours after their last workday.

Vacation Pay

California law requires employers to provide paid vacation as a form of wages. This means that workers’ payments are delayed until the employee takes the vacation. Therefore, employees are entitled to receive payment for unused vacation time when the employer-employee relationship ends.

Experienced Monterey County Unpaid Wages Attorneys

If you believe that you have unpaid wages and your employer isn’t cooperating, you may have a case. Our Monterey County unpaid wages lawyers have years of experience fighting for employee’s rights. Our team has a complete understanding of the various federal and state laws that protect you against your employer.

Need legal assistance? Contact our Monterey County unpaid wage attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a consultation!